October 22, 2022
It was one of those glorious early spring days, the sun was warm but, the wind was sharp and reminded you in no uncertain terms that winter was not done with you yet. My best friend and I were walking home from school, and we had stopped in the lee of the community centre to have a smoke. All day he had seemed edgier, excited, really eager to talk about something. I had known him since I was 8 years old, and to that point in our young lives, there was nothing that we had/could not talk to each other about. We were stood there bullshitting about the girls at school, about that brother and sister who went through the whole of everyday at school holding hands and standing way too close to each other, and close talking the way you do with someone that you have had sex with. They had the whole school wondering exactly what was going on there.
As I was blabbering on about them he turns to me and focuses his giant dinner plate sized blue eyes on me, and I all of a sudden realize that he is now taller than me, he was still too skinny and now too tall. I was afraid that if he turned completely sideways he would disappear. He was trying to grow his hair out, it was not going to help, he would still have a Brillo pad on his head. His features wee too long, too sharp, he was quite frankly, funny looking. And he was bullied for it, but he was my best friend. He was the kindest, sweetest, smartest person I have ever known. He had wicked quick intelligence and a wild sense of humour. If you would let him, he would have you pissing yourself with laughter, or he would blow your mind with his mental gymnastics. He was just a beautiful beautiful person, and I thought of him as my brother.
So he turns to me and says, “There’s this girl at church, and I get hard just looking at her!”. I was a bit taken aback. I knew his Mom had started attending church, but he had never said that he had started going too. Not that it mattered to me, I was struggling with my own lack of any type of spiritualism, so I was pleased that he had found something. During the course of that discussion which lasted several days, he eventually got around to inviting me to this church to both see if I liked it, and he wanted me to check this girl out. Not too many Sundays later I hauled my hung over ass out of bed, slipped into my cleanest jeans and a collared shirt, forsook my steel toed Kodiak boots for my cowboy boots in lieu of dress shoes that I did not own – nor a suit, and went to church for the first time since I was seven years old.
I was pretty under dressed by comparison to the rest of the congregation, and by the looks I was getting, they were all disgusted by my appearance, my long hair just below my shoulders, my jeans worn and faded, my boots well worn and broken in. I even dropped a $10.00 bill into the collection tray, which was not near enough according to the judgmental looks I got. And God forbid, I was there without my parents too! I mean imagine the gall of this kid who was clearly deeply troubled, he was taking independent action with his own spirituality, the shame of it!
So that was the congregations and mine first impression of the other, needless to say it was not good. My attitude towards them was the same as it was towards all adults, you have 3 seconds to respect me and if not, go fuck yourself. Most of that congregation was fucking themselves. Not too long after I actually got to meet this youth group, and this girl that my bud was so hept up on. Nice girl but clearly not interested in my bud. She was hooked on this guy with whom she had grown up with while in this youth group. They eventually got married and moved out to B.C. This hurt my bud, they had been of similar build, she was long and lanky, and pretty enough. I used to tease him, if they got married and had kids, the kids would come out as stick people.
It was an interesting dynamic with those dozen kids, most of who were trying to be good Christians while being teenagers, not an easy balancing act. I was neither accepted nor rejected by the group, overwhelmingly though what I felt like was an outsider, clearly my upbringing had been very different from theirs. For most of us the ethics that we learn are based in whatever religious teachings our families receive, for most of us those lessons as to what acceptable behaviour is, is hammered into us in the school yard, a type of collective well that’s okay. In the environs of that congregation I became concerned for the welfare of two of the younger girls, their mother was a severe looking woman, with a harsh take on Christianity. She was raising those girls right out of the Old Testament, an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, and took pains to discipline her girls publicly so. As these two girls were humiliated in public, none of the congregation including the Minister, would intervene on their behalf. If they received that level of violence in public, we do not want to know what was happening to them at home.
I could understand the church’s reaction perhaps if this behaviour had been a one time thing, but according to lanky girl and married guy, this had been going on for as long as the mother and daughters had been attending- some years at that point. In those years though, schools and churches and other organizations did not involve themselves in children’s lives, what happened to you happened and too bad. As I engaged in some fairly serious Bible study with Married guy, I found that the church really had nothing for me, I had gone into it with a twofold purpose. Firstly I had been searching for some respite from the horrors at home, and secondly I had been hoping to find some way of reconnecting with the Holy Grail. The church was where my father had found Capon, and Capon had introduced us to the Grail, so I assumed that Capon’s knowledge was fairly widespread.
Overall I found the church experience to be overwhelmingly disappointing, I had wanted to find something in the Bible to help both my brother’s and mine plight at home, I figured that out of the Bible’s 31, 102 verses, there had to be something that could help. Out of all that gobbly gook there was just 18 verses that had anything to do with caring for children. It struck me then though I knew not why, that the information about slavery roughly doubled that of child care, there are 32 verses about slavery. And it is fairly detailed information, whereas the child care stuff is a bit mealy mouthed. Then the question became, why were slaves more important than children? That was followed by a host of questions like, why are there so few stories about children in the Bible? Then those stories about children go from the kid being a baby to an adult almost instantaneously? Then the Bible’s main character Jesus Christ, why is his life not detailed from childhood on, you know how as an angry 1 year old he gets mad and levitates mom or someone? Or maybe while he was babysitting his brother James and his sisters, and James and everyone barfs all over him? Maybe you know, have him perform an early miracle and have him stop everyone barfing?
This of course was not going to happen, they were royalty and nannies would have seen to such, but as the church presents him, as a working class carpenter, a regular guy, why are we not given the early details of his life? The reason for this is of course, if they told the truth of his childhood, they would have to acknowledge their lie about him, and therefore acknowledge his true Grail heritage. But back then in 1982 I had no real idea of what the Grail was about, I only knew that what the church said the Bible said did not add up. It would be nearly 15 years again until I figured out why the information about slavery is so concentrated and why the child rearing stuff is so limited. Those discoveries changed the context of the Bible, changed who and why god was. Gave real context to the most ambiguous verse in the Bible, Haggai 2:8 where God says the Gold and Silver is mine.
My best friend still attends that same church, and still has the church’s crap bird fed to him Sundays. He is now unwell, and I guess tries to find comfort in the church, I feel for him and want to offer more, but the bottom line for all of is, whatever the truth of the afterlife, we will only really find out when we get there. There is no doubt about the truths we have discovered herein these pages, as we go forward the church and its lies will continue to be exposed, and we will better understand our sacred journey’s purpose. When my bud figures out the truth he will bitch slap me hard and want to why I did not tell him what I think, and I will look him in the eye and tell him the truth, that each of us has our own journey. He is really fucking smart and will figure it out.